Life moves pretty fast.If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Indeed, life has been moving too fast of late, with so many things happening at work and in our personal lives. Luckily, I work in a magical place, and it doesn’t take much time to find something of interest – a short walk across the garden for a meeting, a trip out to my car, or just doing some of the outdoor chores that need doing, there is so much to see, if you just pay attention. It also helps when my co-workers and volunteers find something and drop me a note or give me a call. That was what brought many of these snippets to my attention this past week. Here are some of the highlights from the week of what you can encounter in a native plant haven like the North Carolina Botanical Garden.
Monarch butterfly stretching her wings after emerging from the chrysalis (click photos to enlarge)
Some monarchs are not so lucky. This one was brought to me by a wonderful volunteer. She was hoping to release an adult butterfly, but a tachinid fly larvae emerged instead. Its pupa is the brown case beneath the damaged monarch chrysalis.
Tachinid flies are common parasitoids of many butterflies and moths. But I had never found a caterpillar with the white eggs of one of these flies on it until I stumbled across this one this week.
This female Green Lynx Spider laid her egg sac in the protected cover of a Hooded Pitcher Plant.
Another Green Lynx female sits next to her recently hatched spiderlings atop a Cardinal Flower seed stalk.
These Green Lynx Spider babies have molted once and will soon disperse away from their protective mother.
After our wet summer, the Garden is now alive with many tiny Cope’s Gray Treefrogs.
A co-worker alerted me to this Black Swallowtail pre-pupa one afternoon this week. Knowing it would shed one more time and reveal the chrysalis in the next 24-hours, I brought it to our volunteer training the next morning.
I carried the pre-pupa along on a training session and, right on schedule, the last molt occurred and everyone was able to witness the amazing transformation to the chrysalis.